search instagram arrow-down
Jack Weinstein

Need advice? have a philosophical question or comment?

Explore a topic:

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email to follow PQED.

Join 3,112 other subscribers

Recent Comments

Carlos on Mad Max: Fury Road is a very v…
matt on Should you tip your professor?
David Ross on Mad Max: Fury Road is a very v…
Jack Russell Weinste… on Requiem for A Philosophy Profe…
Scott Woods on Requiem for A Philosophy Profe…

Click image for the Why? Radio podcast

Why? Radio’s Facebook

Instagram

Twenty-eight years ago me and my horrible hair graduated @sunyplattsburgh, thanks to the mentorship of Professor David Mowry. We lost him yesterday. Read my very emotional tribute to him at www.pqed.org. #philosophy #collegife Hi listeners! Do you want to see our host Jack Russell Weinstein (@diasporajack) in person as he deejays fun and exciting music? Come down to @ojatadogmahal records this Saturday for the fourth installment of Ska and Waffles! Rehearsing for Tuesday night! Want to hear #Klezmer music live? Come to Why? Radio’s 10th anniversary party, Tuesday at 6:30. Details at www.whyradioshow.org @prairiepublic @diasporajack @empireartscenter Above two folds! Thanks @gfherald @prairiepublic ❓📩❓📩❓📩❓📩❓📩
#philosophy #ask #morals #advice #questions #help #curious #hardquestions #anything #podcast #discussion #currentevents #philosophyiseverywhere #whynot #politics #ethics #art #metaphysical #religion  #myund #questionoftheday WHY? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life, the Prairie Public radio show is celebrating its 10th birthday and we’re all invited to think philosophically about music with them!

Join the party for food, an interview with legendary Jazz flutist Mark Weinstein, and live Klezmer music! All for free!

For more information, visit https://goo.gl/FVRj3B or go to www.whyradioshow.org
-----
Award winning Jazz Flutist Mark Weinstein plays World Jazz and Straight-Ahead with world-class musicians rooted in the music of Cuba, Brazil, Africa, Argentina and his Jewish heritage. A Latin Jazz innovator, Mark was among the first jazz musicians to record with traditional Cuban rhythm sections in an epic album, Cuban Roots, released in 1967 with Chick Corea on piano. He also has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a professor of Education at Montclair State University, in New Jersey. His music is the soundtrack to Why? Radio. You can learn more about him at www.jazzfluteweinstein.com 
Stay after the recording for a live concert, as Mark joins the Balkansi Klezmer Band for a jazz-infused exploration of the classic Jewish folk music, Klezmer. Balkansi is an ensemble based in Grand Forks that specializes in traditional music from one of the richest and most diverse musical regions in the world. The members of the band include Tamara Auer on violin, Haley Ellis on clarinet, Edward Morris on guitar, Zephaniah Pearlstein on cello, Michael Ferrick on bass, Rachel Agan Muniz on percussion.

And then stay even longer for an informal Q&A with Why? Radio host, Jack Russell Weinstein. 🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼
@prairiepublic @whyradioshow @diasporajack @empireartscenter #logic #philosophy #podcast #jazz #flute #grandforks #music #event #klezmer #northdakota #philosophyiseverywhere #birthday #10 #markweinstein #jackweinstein #jackrussellweinstein #free #concert #interview

Follow PQED on Twitter

What is Philosophy?

Archives

Every day brings new revelations about how our privacy is being diminished. Whether it is the NSA hacking into our computers and recording our telephone calls, or websites selling our browsing data, it is clear that much of what we took for granted as private is as public as it gets. And, perhaps worse (or perhaps not), it isn’t just that our information is out there, it is that our information is a commodity. Lots of people are making a great deal of money off of our lives, but most of us don’t see any of it. This is complicated by the fact that opting-out of the data-mining trade is virtually impossible for most of us. To do it, one would have to opt-out of most other things as well: always pay cash, always anonymize our internet activity, and pull ourselves largely off the grid. It doesn’t feel like there is much choice at all. People, companies, and the government will know about what we do.

This brings us to reader Jay’s question: “Is protecting your privacy your job or your fundamental right?” It is, I think, a really interesting formulation. It assumes, first that there are just two options, the first is that protecting our privacy is our own responsibility, and as a consequence, if data about us gets “out there,” we are somehow negligent. It is our own fault.

The second suggests that those who trade in our information are somehow being immoral, and that they violate us by sharing information. Philosophically, this underscores the fact that for many people, we are what we do, and by sharing information about what we do, data miners are, in some sense, selling us, our lives, and our identities.

I am of several minds on this issue. The first is that I don’t really care whether Amazon.com shares my browsing or purchasing history with eBay. If I’m going to get advertisements, I might as well get ones that interest me. However, I am also well aware that information can be used as a weapon, especially by enemies, troublemakers, or the government. It is overly simplistic to fall back on the claim that those who have nothing to hide shouldn’t be afraid of their information getting out. Sometimes we want things just for ourselves, even if those things are harmless. For example:

You might ask me what I’m reading and maybe I don’t want to tell you, not because what I’m reading is embarrassing or illegal, but simply because I don’t want to. I shouldn’t have to tell you anything. Maybe it’s just none of your business.

I think, in the end, the lack of privacy might make some things that are now seen as embarrassing less so. Sexual proclivities, mistakes we’ve made, and medical maladies, our weight, habits, and wealth, maybe the more we know about others the more we’ll realize that we shouldn’t be ambivalent about our desires or behaviors. But making us feel better about ourselves and others may not be worth giving up those parts of ourselves that we don’t want to share. We are not always public; we shouldn’t have to be so.

So, with that in mind, I ask you, is keeping our information private our own responsibility, and a personal choice, or is privacy a fundamental right that can only be ignored in the most dire of circumstances, if at all? Or is there a third option that Jay missed?

Leave a Reply
%d bloggers like this: